Matt Katz

Reporter, WNYC News

Matt Katz appears in the following:

Christie's Spox: Gov Knew Nothing of GWB Lane Closures

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WNYC

Michael Drewniak has worked for Christie for 12 years, and is the closest aide to be questioned publicly so far.

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This Week in Politics: The Politics of Budgets

Saturday, May 10, 2014

WNYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio's budget was all good news — which was not the case for Gov. Chris Christie.

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"You Can't Trust Anyone"

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

A former Christie staffer, Christina Renna, testified before an investigative committee yesterday - the first time a Christie official has given Bridgegate testimony. Matt Katz, reporter for NJPR explains what we learned from the testimony, including how Bridget Kelly told Renna "you can't trust anyone" after she was fired. Andrea Bernstein, senior editor for politics and policy for WNYC News, talks about her reporting on what the Bridgegate scandal means for the Port Authority and reform of the bi-state agency.

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What We Learned at First Bridgegate Testimony

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

In the first Bridgegate testimony from anyone in Gov. Chris Christie's administration, we heard from Christina Renna, a former Christie staffer, for five hours on Tuesday. Renna worked as a supervisor in the Intergovernmental Affairs unit of the governor's office, directly under Bridget Kelly, who wrote the "time for some ...

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What Won't You Find In Bridgegate Documents? Christie's Emails and Texts

Monday, May 05, 2014

Just one email.

The internal review of the office of Gov. Chris Christie in the wake of the Bridgegate and Sandy funding scandals yielded 4,612 pages —that included summaries of interviews with 75 people, plus dozens of emails and text messages from top Christie staffers. But the only shred of ...

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Republicans On Bridgegate Panel Are Getting Angrier and Angrier

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Republicans on the New Jersey Legislature's Bridgegate committee are getting angry.

"The committee's leadership and operations have demonstrated that the committee's purpose turned from an inquiry into the clearly flawed inner-workings of the Port Authority, into a political vehicle designed to damage the governor's standing and popularity," the Republicans ...

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Bridgegate Investigators To Samson: Time's Up

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

WNYC

Legislative investigators have sent a letter to former Port Authority Chairman David Samson, who resigned amid investigations over his role in Bridgegate and his business practices, mandating that he turn over documents that were requested more than three months ago.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the Democrat who co-chairs the Legislature's investigative ...

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Christie Makes Totally Boring Choice for Port Authority Chair

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

WNYC

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has chosen a retired insurance executive, John Degnan, to serve as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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Christie vs. Colorado

Sunday, April 27, 2014

WNYC

Chris Christie has picked yet another fight. This time, with the state of Colorado. The response from the Rockies was initially mild. Then it got ugly.

In recent weeks Christie has fielded an inordinate number of questions about the legalization of marijuana. He is, as always, unequivocal in his opposition, ...

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Christie Warns of Crisis — Economic, Not Political

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Christie talks in DC, but not many Democrats were around to hear the message.

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Meet Christie's New Ombudsman

Friday, April 18, 2014

WNYC

As part of the internal review into the scandals whirling around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, lawyers recommended the governor hire an ombudsman. On Friday, Christie announced that he appointed Patrick Hobbs for the position.

Age: 54

Hometown: Basking Ridge

Party: Democrat

Experience: Seton Hall Law School Dean and chair ...

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Christie and McGreevey: Unlikely Gubernatorial BFFs

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Once upon a time, the U.S. Attorney in Newark was investigating the governor in Trenton for corruption. Today, that U.S. Attorney, Chris Christie, is now a governor under investigation himself by a different U.S. Attorney, and he has formed an unlikely friendship with Jim McGreevey, the former governor he once ...

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The Mastro Report: Behind the Scenes

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Memos from the Mastro report that cleared Gov. Christie of any wrongdoing in the Bridgegate scandal were just released. Matt Katz, reporter for NJPR, explains what the documents tell us about how the investigation was conducted, the skyrocketing cost to taxpayers and what was left out of the report.

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He Said, She Said: Quotable Moments From The Bridgegate Interviews

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WNYC

Even though the documents read like a defense of Gov. Chris Christie, the newly-released interviews include some revealing quotes.

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NJ Taxpayers Paying for Lawyers on Both Sides of Bridgegate

Monday, April 14, 2014

The state is paying $340 dollars an hour.

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Backed by Dems, Christie Pushes For Property Tax Relief

Monday, April 14, 2014

Some warn if the cap isn't renewed, services will be cut.

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Playing Ball With Chris Christie

Thursday, April 10, 2014

WNYC

On May 13, 2013, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno had a now notorious chat with the mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer, in the parking lot of a Sandy-damaged ShopRite.

Zimmer remembers Guadagno threatening her: If she didn’t approve a development project run by the Rockefeller Group, which was represented by Bridgegate-embroiled ...

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Judge To Dems: No Bridgegate Docs For You

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

WNYC

In a victory for both Gov. Chris Christie and his former aides, a New Jersey judge has ruled that two key figures in the Bridgegate scandal do not have to turn over documents to a state legislative panel.

The 98-page ruling says Bridget Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff who wrote the "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email, and Bill Stepien, Christie's former political adviser and campaign manager, do not have to comply with the Legislature's subpoenas. While the Democrats who control the state Legislature's investigative committee have successfully obtained documents from dozens of people, Stepien and Kelly were thought to have correspondence and other documents that could link the scandal to Christie to find out what he knew, and when.

Without these documents, the Legislature's investigation -- a major headache for the governor -- is severely curtailed.

In a hearing last month in Trenton, attorneys for the pair fought the Legislature's subpoenas and argued that the Fifth Amendment protects them from incriminating themselves. Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson agreed, finding that given an active federal investigation into the scandal, self-incrimination was a real possibility. Although the committee argued that self-incrimination wasn't inevitable, Jacobson cited media reports and public comments by legislators to conclude that Stepien and Kelly may be under investigation by federal authorities for state crimes like official misconduct, in addition to federal offenses.

And, Jacobson ruled, even documents that show the defendants were doing government business on government time with government email accounts, the Fifth Amendment trumps any rule requiring workers to maintain public documents.

Stepien and Kelly also argued that the Fourth Amendment protects them from unreasonable searches and seizures -- a point Jacobson also agreed with, saying that the Legislature was on "a fishing expedition" asking for too broad of a range of documents. And, she said, the committee unjustly assumed that documents exist: "The Committee's sole argument is that since it is in possession of documents that reveal communications between Mr. Stepien/Ms. Kelly and David Wildstein [the Port Authority official who initiated the lane closures], further communications with an undetermined number of individuals about the lane closures must be in the possession of defendants."

Jacobson noted that the case was "challenging," presenting a "highly unusual" set of circumstances with little in the way of precedent.

For the legislative committee, an appeal is an option. But Jacobson offered other options, saying that she believes the committee has the power to grant immunity to Stepien and Kelly, thereby protecting them from prosecution based on the documents they provide. She also noted that if the Legislature granted immunity to Stepien and Kelly, that doesn't mean Stepien's evidence couldn't be used against Kelly in a criminal proceeding, and vice versa. Plus, Jacobson said, if emails involving Stepien or Kelly are held by a third party, that person or entity could be subpoenaed without violating their Fifth Amendment rights.

The legislative committee said in a statement that it will consider alternatives to get the information.

Stepien's attorney, Kevin Marino, said the ruling "represents a complete vindication of Bill Stepien." He said the committee "wasted the taxpayers' money -- and the nation's time -- on a frivolous lawsuit to enforce a clearly invalid subpoena."

And Kelly's attorney, Michael Critchley, said the ruling provided "a free tutorial on the protections the Fifth Amendment affords all citizens."

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How Christie's Office Used Government Employees to Win Endorsements

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The thrust of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election strategy last year was to secure endorsements from Democratic officials -- and new Bridgegate documents show just how intent he was to make sure that happened.

The documents, culled by WNYC from thousands of pages released by his attorney last week ...

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Christie Wins and Loses in Vegas After Bridgegate Report Exonerates Him

Monday, March 31, 2014

WNYC

The governor auditions before the nation's biggest GOP donor and ends up making an apology.

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